“Don’t you get it, you crustaceous cheapskate?” SpongeBob SquarePants bellows at Mr. Krabs in “Pickles,” the sixth episode from SpongeBob SquarePants‘ first season, in which the porous protagonist forgets the pickles on a Krabby Patty and doubts his abilities to properly construct the sandwich. “I can’t put a patty on a bun, with lettuce, cheese, onions, tomatoes, ketchup, mustard, pickles, and top bun together in that order!”
Spongebob then looks down in amazement to discover that he can, in fact, make a perfect Krabby Patty. And now, so can one popular YouTube chef.
That would be Andrew Rea, who goes by the Reddit username OliverBabish and recreates famous meals from popular TV shows on his channel, Binging with Babish. As a thank-you to subscribers who have allowed Rea to make the show his full-time job, he’s finally demonstrated how to make the “all-time most requested dish on this show: the Krabby Patty.”
The video, which features the chef’s characteristically dry humor, has already amassed more than 500,000 views today. Right off the bat, Rea lets viewers in on an astonishing revelation: The Krabby Patty’s mythical secret formula is… nothing.
His explanation is sound: “Mr. Krabs is a shrewd businessman, and it makes sense that rather than buying expensive secret ingredients, he would create a burger that is its own guerilla marketing campaign.” Still, he acknowledges that many culinary students and TV buffs cite King Neptune’s Poseidon Powder—or glorified MSG—as the secret ingredient, and thus begins the cooking by sprinkling his beef patty with a mixture of salt, pepper, and MSG.
From there, Rea follows standard burger prep procedure, topping the patty with lettuce, American cheese, onion, tomato, ketchup, mustard, and pickles—in that order. (The lettuce-first approach is “a terrible idea,” he admonishes. “Never do this. I’m doing this for science.”) The MSG-doused burger is predictably delicious, but the chef then brings his concoction to new flavor heights.
First, he creates a fine powder from bonito flakes (shaved, dried fish); dried shiitake mushrooms; dried kombu (sea kelp); and a single anchovy, sprinkling it on the burger to increase its umami content, or savory flavor. He revamps the patty with a mixture of beef short rib and chuck steak and oven-dries his tomatoes with a drizzle of olive oil and kosher salt. He mingles ketchup with a puree of sun-dried tomatoes and olive oil, mustard with yellow miso, and bakes grated parmesan cheese into delicious crisps. He reassembles the burger in a more logical order on his second go-round (though the pickles are conspicuously absent), and bon appétit.
The verdict? Rea deems the burger a “symphony of flavor,” assuring viewers that he doesn’t clean his plate unless he’s made a legitimately delicious meal.
“Especially,” he adds, “because these things are going straight to my thighs before I blow up.”